The Head of Invest South Africa (InvestSA), Mr. Yunus Hoosen, has lauded success in the first phase of the work done to create a conductive environment to attract domestic and foreign investment into South Africa. InvestSA is an agency of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) and hosted a session at the Protea Hotel Fire and Ice in Menlyn, Pretoria to assess progress in the Investment Climate Reform Programme.
The Programme has been running over the past 4 years and is a partnership with the dtic and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group being the main partners. Other critical role-players include the Prosperity Fund (United Kingdom) and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and various government departments and agencies.
It entailed the implementation of reforms to improve business regulatory processes, competition policy and market regulation to promote investment and supported the presidential investment target of over R1.2 trillion.
Hoosen says the partnership has achieved its goal of delivering important reforms in government to business services that are vital to enhance SA’s competitiveness and counter economic downturns.
“In Competition Policy and Market Regulation, the programme produced tools to enforcement action to address cartel behaviour as well as reduced costs for customers for a range of essential services. Through this development, we have also witnessed the deployment of electronic platforms such as Bizportal and City of Johannesburg’s online construction permits system. These are pioneering e-government initiatives with the potential to have their functionalities replicated across government departments.”
In her reflections, National Treasury’s Deputy Director-General for International Relations, Ms. Malijeng Ngqaleni, said the programme required the public sector to step into the shoes of a firm and experience the impact of public sector regulations. Public service must be based on the concept of co-creation, accessible, user-friendly and use a citizen centric approach.
“The co-design process developed empathy and ability within the public sector to be responsive. The programme was results driven with a clear accountability mechanism through the Doing Business and Sub National Doing Business survey results. At city level, regulatory and business process efficiency reforms were identified and implemented, where they related to firms needing to register property, apply for construction permit and getting water and electricity connection and reliable energy supply.”
During the discussions, other stakeholders highlighted that there is still more work that needs to be done in areas such as provision of infrastructure, reduction of red tape, improvement of provision of essential services such as water and electricity.
The IFC’s Country Manager for South Africa, Mr Adamou Labara, said the runaway successes of the four investment conferences held in South Africa are testament to the county’s ability to articulate a clear investment proposition and deliver on investment commitments through.
InvestSA’s Hoosen says lessons learnt are valuable and will be beneficial for future work. He added that more will be done to strengthen efforts at retention of investment through properly worked out after care methods.
Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
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